There seems to be a number of 3D print quotation services emerging.
One new entrant is MMS from Tokyo-based Kabuku Corporation, which has a couple of interesting twists for those interested in using it.
The idea of a quotation system is definitely not for everyone. It’s of most interest to those who wish to market their 3D printing services to the public and require a way to provide quotes for service and associated transactional activity, like invoicing, customer management and so on.
This type of work is certainly doable manually, but it’s awfully tedious and very slow for customers. In the past, and I suppose still true in some cases, 3D print service operations used to ask you to upload your 3D model and they’d check it out manually and then provide you a quote. This manual method is essentially obsolete today, as multiple sites now offer “online” quotation, where you receive instant quotes based on your upload – with no human intervention behind the scenes.
I’ve seen several different options for this type of service, where the company pays a monthly fee to make use of a cloud based quotation and invoicing system.
That’s true with Kabuku’s MMS, too, but there is an interesting twist: you pay only for the modules you actually want to use.
Kabuku MMS offers a free service with unlimited quotations possible, however, it does have a very reasonable limit for the number and size of file uploads and has a constraint of a maximum of 25 clients.
Meanwhile, their “Premium” service has a kind of menu where you can choose a-la-carte the features you need:
- Homepage Integration USD$50
- Increased Simultaneous Uploads USD$15
- Larger File Size USD$15
- Additional File Formats USD$15
- Additional Customer Accounts USD$25
- Cloud Services Integration USD$50
- Additional Automations USD$25
- Keep Order History USD$25
- Customer Access Management USD$25
- Additional User Accounts USD$25
This flexibility allows you to optimize the payment required for the services required, unlike any other similar service that I am aware of.
What’s most interesting to me here is the free service, which is a way for those companies with idle 3D printers who wish to make some use of them in a side business. Literally at no charge, such a company could use Kabuku MMS to set up an experimental 3D print service business using existing equipment. Even small makerspaces could use this approach.
If such a venture succeeded and began to bump into the limits, that’s the kind of problem you want to have: just upgrade to the full service to enable more clients, for example, and your business will grow.